Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Darkness Holds the Light

Maybe the darkness holds the light,
rekindles it through the long dark night
Perhaps our joy is cradled by our sorrow,
held and protected till the dawn of tomorrow.

The picture above has become a metaphoric prayer for me. I waited a long time for the light on the morning this image was born. When it finally pushed its face through the blackness it took my breath away. It looked as though the darkness was holding the light. I wanted to call out, “Stop right there. Hold the moment!” Life is not like that, of course, and the light kept coming. Afterwards I felt a little guilty for needing to capture the moment. “Forgive me.” I said to the light and to the darkness, “forgive me for not trusting my memory.” I wanted it to last forever, yet this photo is so dim compared to the sacramental memory of the Earth Turn that brought me the light on that autumn morning. I forgave myself quickly and have been praying with this picture for several months. It speaks to me in deep ways about how the dark moments of my life have always seemed to protect and save the light for me. I can’t always see and experience the joy, hope, and trust, the courage, love and beauty, the faith, life and light hidden in the cloud of my unknowing. The brightness within is often invisible and yet when I practice deep seeing I know without a doubt that we are containers of light and, oh, we must shine on one another or die.

O Source of Light and Darkness,

Instill in each of us a deep knowing that we are containers of Light:

our sorrow holds our joy,
our despair holds our hope,
our fears hold our courage,
our anxieties hold our trust,
our indifference holds our love,
and our clutter holds our yearning for the Eternal

In spite of our sometimes disordered lives,
all the brightness within us
is kept safe for us--safe for that moment
when we joyfully claim it as
part of our inheritance.
We are containers of peace and joy,
hope and faith, forgiveness and love.
We are containers of the Divine.
We Are Containers of The Light.


  1. Thank you for posting these words today. I am struggling in the midst of deep depression, a dark period in my daily life, and a spiritual desert, and your words of pondering the darkness holding the light really touched me.

  2. Healing words, words of hope!
    The image is beautiful!

  3. Sometimes we just have to trust, don't we, that our containers hold the light as well as everything else? Beautiful words.
    Sulwyn, you'll be in my prayers.

  4. Thanks to each of you for stopping by and Sulwyn I am imaging you with blossoms falling all around you and joy and peace filling your soul.

    Imaging is a very good prayer.

  5. Love this post, and love the image of blossoms falling as a prayer. I will join in the imaging.

  6. The earliest memory I have is of lying in my pram in the garden and white blossoms falling on me. All my life I have known it was a blessing.

  7. Here it is Christmas Eve and I have a pile of things still to do. Before I don my little elf hat and get busy, I wanted to stop by and wish you and yours a very merry Christmas. May this holiday season bring you much joy and laughter. May the gifts you give be received with delight and may you know how very much you are loved. Merry Christmas, my friend.

  8. Macrina, along with everyone else, I thank you for the beauty, courage and depth of your words and how they resonate in the soul. Merry Christmas, my friend, below is a reflection I entered in my journal tonight, December 24, 2009, Christmas Eve: Frances called and suggested I write an essay entitled “Looking out the Window.” This is what I wrote: Tears behind the eyes…those words describe what the depth of Christmas means to me. A major blizzard has just arrived and when I looked out the window at our deer gathered for their corn, they were covered with mantles of snow and staring back with dark, friendly eyes as I waved cheerily to them. How do we describe the love and hushed feelings their presence evokes? Being with them, (even though we are separated by the window glass) brings me to my center that is the epitome of spiritual reality and oneness with God. My husband feels the same and we both agree: you can’t really describe that kind of repore to someone who hasn’t experienced it.

    Being with our deer, recognizing them as true companions on this journey in our earthly home in the woods ushers in a feeling of faith. Faith in my loved ones, faith in myself, faith that God loves me. Christmas to me is that simple and beautiful. At the cemetery where our son was buried ten years ago, I imagine his granite headstone with the meaningful etching of a deer on it now blanketed in a coverlet of snow. The stillness of that image comforts me and I quietly think of how sacred, temporary and thin the heavenly veil is---and how, just as the window glass thinly separates us from our beloved deer--- so too can we never be spiritually separated from our beloveds of the heart. No wonder the dear Promise of Bethlehem reminds us that one day we shall see face to face. This message goes out with love and care to those who are grieving or troubled on this holy night. xoxo

  9. What a wonderful gift to find these words when I needed them... read them when you posted but still am enjoying them.. hugs to you.